Update: What's for Breakfast? Two Years Since I Kicked Cereal to the Curb
10 November 2013
I had known for a long time that breakfast was just not working in our family. Most days our kids had cereal for breakfast. The problem was that it didn't stop there. Only minutes later, everyone was still hungry and fifteen minutes after round two, everyone was "starving," once again. As it turned out, cereal never really was "breakfast," it was only an appetizer. It didn't fill them, it didn't satisfy them, and it was driving me crazy.
Fed up, I finally decided to make a drastic change- I kicked cereal to the curb and declared that there would be no more cereal for breakfast.
In order to make the change more appealing, I exhausted myself coming up with new and creative breakfasts every day. It was fun at first, but after a while, I found myself wishing that we could go back to having cereal.
However, when I really thought it about, we never just had cereal. Cereal was just the beginning of the morning long buffet. Once we stopped having cereal, we had breakfast one time, in one round, and when we were done, we were done, and we could get on with our day.
We tried brining back cereal on a few occassions. Wanting a few more minutes of sleep on Sunday mornings, we bought a box of cereal and told the kids that they could help themselves to a bowl of cereal if we weren't up yet. However, when we did, the kids were extra squirmy at mass and were whiney and miserable by the time it was over because they were so hungry.
For us, cereal for breakfast just didn't work. But making something new and creative every morning, didn't really work either. I found that I sometimes woke up with dread not wanting to have to make breakfast, again.
Slowly, I eased back on the creativity and variety and now, two years later, we have finally fallen into a rotation of breakfasts that work for us. Occasionally we try something new, but we have found several breakfasts that are filling and lasting and don't take more than about 10 minutes to prepare.
1. Guacamole Egg Toast. Toast with *guacamole (makes it more filling and adds flavor) topped with an egg (over easy or hard depending on the kid.) The kids also usually have some fruit or a smoothie. (*I usually buy Wholly guacamole or the guacamole from Aldi.)
2. Toast with cashew butter (I'm allergic to peanuts) and a smoothie.
3. Oatmeal with almond milk, coconut sugar and/ or maple syrup. We have found that coconut sugar is a better option than brown sugar for our family. First of all, it has a lower glycemic index so it doesn't create a sugar high and resulting crash. Additionally, it doesn't melt like brown sugar so it has more flavor and the kids can still see that it's there (with brown sugar they kept asking for more and more because they couldn't see it.) Sometimes we add fruit to the oatmeal and at other times the kids will have a banana with cashew butter while they wait for the oatmeal to cook.
4. French Toast. (Occasionally with chicken or turkey sausage if we have it or with a smoothie or fruit.)
Now that we have been doing this for two years, I can say, without a doubt, that starting our day with protein and with little to no sugar, helps our kids to make better food choices all day long. It also keeps their blood sugar much more in balance so there are fewer mood swings and they don't crave sugar later in the day.
What do you have for breakfast? Have you found something that works for you, or do you think you need to make a change?
Looking for some other alternatives? Here's a list of cereal alternatives (I just don't suggest trying ALL of these… it's a bit overwhelming!)